The Hush Sisters by Gerard Collins

Ghostly girls, a creepy cradle, and whispers from hidden passageways would be enough to make most people leave their family home. Regardless of any personal or generational connection to the place, an average person would be put off by putrid smells or the continual feeling of someone watching over them while they slept. Sissy and Ava Hush, of Gerard Collins’s new novel The Hush Sisters, are definitely not most people.…

You Were Never Here by Kathleen Peacock

Cat hasn’t been to Montgomery Falls, the town her family founded, since she was twelve years old. Since the summer she discovered she could do things that no normal twelve-year-old could do. Since she had her first kiss with Riley Fraser. Since she destroyed their friendship.
Now, five years later, she’s back and Riley has disappeared.

New Brunswick’s Kathleen Peacock has written a book that has made people sit up and take notice.…

Buried: A Novel by Ruth Chorney

It seems that the majority of Canada’s writers live either on our East or West Coasts or in Southern Ontario. A recent call for mid-western Canadian writers turned up a few names, Ruth Chorney’s among them. Ms. Chorney lives in Kelvington, Saskatchewan, and Buried is her self-published book. (Ms. Chorney has also written a guest review for The Miramichi Reader here.)…

The Liars by Ida Linehan Young

Ida Linehan Young’s The Liars is a sequel to The Promise, (2019) which was a spin-off of 2018’s Being Mary Ro. There is no doubt that she is amongst the best of the best of Newfoundland’s storytellers, in a class with Gary Collins and Kevin Major, among others. If you haven’t read any of Ms. Linehan Young’s books, I encourage you to start with Being Mary Ro which sets the locales and people that will eventually appear in The Promise, with its quintessential cliff-hanger ending, thus making The Liars required reading. …

Butterfly by John Delacourt

the heart of John Delacourt’s Butterfly is a simple enough story: blackmail and robbery gone very wrong with the principle characters fleeing the law as well as each other. However, I have come to expect an elevated raison d’etre from any book published by Montreal’s Linda Leith Publications, and Butterfly certainly upholds (if not exceeds) those expectations. There is a lot more here than the crimes of blackmail and robbery.…

Operation Vanished by Helen C. Escott

Helen C. Escott’s Operation Vanished follows closely on the heels of her bestselling Atlantic Canadian thriller Operation Wormwood (2018, Flanker Press). While that book dealt with an investigation by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Operation Vanished has the RCMP investigating some unsolved abductions and murders of women back in the 1950s. Heading up the investigative team is RCMP Corporal Gail McNaughton, whose own father is a retired career Mountie.…

Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale by Ann Shortell

A fine example of Canadian historical fiction, Ann Shortell’s Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale (2018, Friesen Press) is constructed around the actual assassination of D’Arcy McGee, one of the fathers of confederation, on April 7th, 1868 as he was returning from Parliament to Mrs. Trotter’s boarding house. The assailant was never seen, but Patrick J. Whelan (“Jimmy”) was later arrested, convicted and hanged as the culprit.…

Phantom of Fire: A Dylan Maples Adventure by Shane Peacock

It has been some time since I have read and reviewed a novel for young readers (in the ages 9-13 category), so I was pleased to get this Advance Reading Copy (ARC) from Nimbus. It is number 5 in the Dylan Maples Adventures by Shane Peacock, but this is the first one of the series I have read. If the four preceding installments were of the same calibre as Phantom of Fire, then these are books your young reader will enjoy.…

Best New Brunswick Reads of 2018

Looking back on all the books I reviewed in 2018, there were plenty of good ones that came out of New Brunswick.

Before I get to highlighting just a few of them, I would like to mention how unhappy I was at the hearing of the passing of Raymond Fraser in 2018. He will leave a definite void in the East Coast writing scene, but he leaves behind a legacy of enjoyable reading and poetry as well.…

Under the Floorboard by Wendy Ranby

First-time novelist Wendy Ranby was born and raised in Rothsay, New Brunswick,  but now calls Tottenham Ontario home. Under the Floorboards is a Young Adult (YA) novel, but I found it to be a very good read, so hopefully, parents, as well as their children will enjoy it. 

Under the Floorboard (2018, Chocolate River Publishing) is the story of Aileen, the teen daughter of Hugh and Gloria.…

Lindstrom’s Progress (Trilogy #2) by John Moss

I left off my review of the first installment in the Lindstrom Trilogy (Lindstrom Alone) stating that I very much looked forward to reading the next installment. I’m happy to say I liked Lindstrom’s Progress (2018, Iguana Books) much more than I did its predecessor. The former was somewhat overwhelming with its complex philosophical references (Harry Lindstrom is a retired professor of Philosophy) and diverse locations.…

Lindstrom Alone (Trilogy #1) by John Moss

Canadian author John Moss has created a different type of private investigator in Harry Lindstrom: a retired philosophy professor that now specializes in murder cases. The remaining member of the Lindstrom & Malone team (Malone was his wife), he inhabits an apartment in downtown Toronto which he shares with the “ghost” or rather, the voice of his deceased wife, Karen. Think of Nick and Nora Charles as academics, and not as the socialites they portrayed in the popular “Thin Man” movies.…

The Body on the Underwater Road by Chuck Bowie

I write this review of the fourth book of the Donovan: Thief for Hire series, I reflect back on how Three Wrongs was one of the first books I reviewed for The Miramichi Reader. I liked it very much, due to Mr. Bowie’s character development of Sean Donovan the professional thief for hire, which was top-notch and Sean’s personality only grew with each installment of the series.…